Is it OK to mix ceiling paint with primer?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 33516479_l-150x150.jpg

I never realized how much of a debate mixing ceiling paint with primer was until I did a “google search” about it. There are so many different opinions on such a simple question. I looked into both sides of the coin, and I’m here to help you figure out if it is okay to mix ceiling paint with primer.

You can mix ceiling paint with primer, but most people do not recommend it as it wrecks the chemical properties of the primer and makes the paint thicker. It is best to buy the 2-in-1 paint/primer at most hardware stores or to apply each type of paint individually.

We will talk about why this is the case by going more in-depth about primer and ceiling paint. We will also go over some advantages/disadvantages of mixing each, and some more information on two-in-one paint primers.

Things To Know About Primer:

  • Priming ensures better adhesion of paint to the surface.
  • Priming ensures the long-term stability of the paint.
  • Priming also gives your wood more durability against the elements, bugs, or anything that will hurt the paint. Source
  • If you are going over a completely different type of paint, primer helps flush out any old type of paint so you can start fresh.
  • If you also made any permanent stains, primer can cover that up as well.
  • Primer is optimized for the glossier type of surfaces.
  • Primer costs about 10 to 30 dollars per gallon. The amount of primer you will need will depend on the condition of your wall or surface. Source
  • Using a primer is ideal for materials such as bare surfaces that are very porous, unfinished wood, uncoated metal, drywall, and masonry.
  • The best-rated primers in the market for a ceiling project are KILZ 2 ALL PURPOSE Primer, PPG Gripper 1 gal. White Interior/Exterior Acrylic Primer Sealer, and Lanco 5 Gal. Stain Killer Ultra Premium White Interior/Exterior 100% Acrylic Wall Primer with Heavy Stain Elimination.

Things To Know About Ceiling Paint:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 127353146_l-150x150.jpg
  • Ceiling paint has very high viscosity for your project so you don’t have to use as many coats which will cost less money and wear on your wall.
  • Ceiling paint also has better coverage to reach any crevice of your project and is very thick, so if done well, your project will look very smooth and uniform all around.
  • Ceiling paint is very durable and does not crack or chip away like other types of paint. Source
  • Ceiling Paint costs around $150 to $300 to paint a ceiling in a standard 10 by 12-foot room. Source
  • Water-based ceiling paints mix well with other types of paints. Oil-based ceiling paint will not. If you are going to mix paint and primer, be sure to get a water-based ceiling paint as it works the best with the primer and lasts the longest. Source
  • The best types of ceiling paints are KILZ Color-Change Stainblocking Interior Ceiling Paint, Rust-Oleum 253536 Metallic Accents Paint, and Homax Decorative Finish Roll-On Texture Ceiling Paint. Source

Positives Of Mixing The Paint:

  • Mixing the paint and primer is more of a cost-effective way to paint.
  • Individuals have found mixing the paint and primer works well in interior walls.
  • The paint and primer bring out well kept and clean environments.
  • Mixing the paint and the primer takes a lot less time than having to wait in between coats.

Negatives Of Mixing The Paint:

  • Adding a primer to paint will degrade the coating. It may not wash/wear as well and is more apt to fade.
  • The paint turns out to be thicker and grimier on your surface.
  • Your paint will naturally be lighter
  • If the surface is dirty, the paint/primer will make it stick out like a sore thumb.
  • If the wall was recently repaired, then the surface will appear lighter than the previous surface. Source
  • Mixing the two paints is not as durable as simply applying both at once.

Buyer Checklist:

Things To Look For While Buying Ceiling Paint:

  • Be sure to include latex products while you paint your surface. This type of paint lasts longer and is more durable.
  • Pick a high-viscosity paint/primer to reduce drippage.
  • Opt for a no-or low luster sheen.
  • If you don’t know which paint to use, always shoot for white color. It will add light to any part of your home and match with any other color in your home.

Things To Look When Buying Primer:

Not all primer is created equal, so the type of primer you need will depend on the type of condition your wood is in. Lowe’s has some great tips on what primer will fit your needs:

  • “For new wood, use a high-quality latex primer or an oil-based primer. If you have wood that’s stained or you’re painting redwood or cedar, use a stain-blocking primer.
  • For slightly painted wood: If your paint is in very good condition, a primer may not be needed. However, if you have exposed wood, chalking, or chipped paint, use an oil-based primer. Before you prime, scrape away as much chipped paint as possible, and wash off any chalk. (Just because you’re using a primer doesn’t mean you should skip surface preparation.)
  • For weathered wood, use a high-quality latex or oil-based primer. Sand and scrape away as much paint as possible. When you start to see new wood fibers, start priming.” Source

2-In-1 Paint Primers

Most painting professionals recommend buying a two in one because the chemicals will balance each other out by working together to protect the wood and the color of your paint. Here are some recommendations:

PPG 1 gal. Abbey White PPG1104-2 Flat Interior Ceiling Paint with Primer

PPG 1 gal. Mountain Gray PPG1021-1 Flat Interior One-Coat Ceiling Paint with Primer

PPG 1 gal. Willow Springs PPG1007-1 Flat Interior One-Coat Ceiling Paint with Primer

Two-In-One Primers are ideal when:

  • You are repainting a wall. This works well because it reduces the risk of color bleeding through.
  • You are trying to paint new drywall. This helps make working with drywall a lot easier
  • It is outside the stresses of anything outdoors—UV rays, rain, and snow. So if it is next to a window, best not to use a two-in-one primer. Source

Ricky Kesler

With all of the projects I've done over the years, you'd think that I work on my house full-time. But I actually enjoy other things like spending time outdoors and time with my family.

Recent Posts